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Day one, we rise

by Steve Saville

So much can happen in a year.

This time last year we were in danger of being washed away here in Auckland, this year we continue to melt.

Remembering back a year though I certainly prefer the muggy nights to the torrential rain.

So just like the weather, the education climate is going through its own state of flux right now. The problem is we don't really know much about what this new world will look like, and when…yet.

In this void there is a growing sense of anxiety as evidenced in various education forums I have been reading this week, stoked by the media who seem to like nothing more than telling everyone what an awful job we are doing and how truly dire our schools are.

From what we do know it seems like the following is the current state:

  1. We know that reviews, and reviews of reviews, are taking place.

  2. We know that the pendulum is going to swing back towards a more standardized approach to learning

  3. We know that information around Te Mātaiaho/curriculum refresh/Common Practice Model and any other initiatives that were timelined last year seem to be on hold, and therefore won’t in all likelihood be presented with any clarity for a few months yet.

I could go on but the reality is we just don't know, and are unlikely to know much for a while yet. - Oh that is not totally correct is it? We do know mobile phones have been banned.

All of the above though, whilst it affects us, is beyond our control. So maybe we should spend less time worrying about what we can't control (I am assuming that there are not many of us who believe that we can actually influence the decisions of the new Minister).

Instead let us focus our energy and time on what we can change and influence.

The reality is that we don't know what is going on behind closed doors in Wellington, but we do know that in little over a week our children are going to walk back through our school gates and into our classrooms.

They are our reason - and they will return with hope, aspirations and dreams about 2024.

Their world we can influence. 

So maybe we spend just a little less time trying to understand the machinations of the politicians and instead spend our valuable time, our intelligence, our creativity and our love into making the start of the year a wonderful celebration of our profession and our schools.

  • Let's make the induction of new staff a celebration of who we are and what we are proud of.

  • Let's welcome our new learners with a warmth that wraps around them like a blanket as soon as they enter our rooms.

  • Let's plan a start of the year which is fun, inclusive, celebratory, inspirational and aspirational.

  • Let's continue to use critical, culturally responsive pedagogies.

  • Let's get this revolution going, but let's start it with a smile!

We are in complete control of how we start the year, we are in control of these initial learning experiences of our students, so lets make it all a belter. 

As I write this the sun is shining and the Vaccines new album is belting out way too loud so, if I wish anything for you it is that you put on your favorite music, turn it up, and start planning a revolutionary and inspirational start to the school year.

Happy New Year Whānau from both Becca and I at ELV.

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